The statement comes after the Oakland chapter of the NAACP credited surging crime to Thao’s decision to fire Oakland Police Department Chief LeRonne Armstrong in February. Thao dismissed that notion in an interview with KRON4.
A new chief has yet to be hired, and Thao reiterated at a community meeting on Saturday that she cannot do so until the police commission presents her with three finalists. In its statement, the commission said it was “deeply disappointed” by her comments.
“We are also deeply disappointed in the mayor’s purposeful deflection of the NAACP and community’s concerns by casting blame on the Commission for the lack of a police chief, which was brought about by the mayor herself,” read the statement, which was authored by Dr. Tyfahra Milele, the chair of the commission.
The commission pointed out that its website shows it plans to present the finalists by mid-October. Milele said the police commission updated Thao on its timeline last week.
The statement also says Thao fired Armstrong without consulting the commission and refused to meet with the commission for two months as it prepared to find Armstrong’s replacement.
“Instead of providing immediate support and resources for the Commission to do its work, the mayor removed a retired superior court judge — one of seven Regular Commissioners — and several shorthanded the already small commission of unpaid volunteers,” the statement said.
KRON4 has reached out to Thao’s office for a response. We have yet to hear back.